Squire low end J bass 5 string, question

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by suraci, Jan 10, 2018.

  1. suraci


    Apr 11, 2005
    $250 out the door.. I guess it is called Affinity, the low end. it says J bass on the head stock.

    I compared it to a $2000+ Fender, after a player at Guitar Center told me some people like it better than the expensive Fender.

    I have noticed there is not a lot of low end bassiness about this bass. That may turn out to be ok. I knew a session player Neil Jason who I believe told me he looks for highs in a bass, and lows can always be added. I hope I am not mangling his words.

    There is something about the character of this passive bass that I like. Even the open low B sounds decently.

    One player told me the lows are in the wood itself. Can a PU compensate?
    Do I want to hotrod it with dual passive and active electronics?

    For 250, I have little concern about ruining it, though as I said there is something about it, maybe the lack of lows?
    Opinions welcome
  2. jonnybass1


    Dec 9, 2011
    Brampton, On
    Try adjusting the pickups a little higher. The pickups are fairly weak on the squiers and need to be adjusted accordingly.

    Edit: extra bass can always be added on the amp
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2018
  3. suraci


    Apr 11, 2005
    I am partial to a traditional Fender tone, though I like Marcus Miller - not sure if that is considered traditional Fender or Sadowsky!

    Can a recommended new PU improve the situation? The PU's can easily touch the strings.. I tend to pluck a bit harder than some!

    My whole life the struggle to have controlled balanced lows, mids and highs has been the issue. Usually one of the three frequency bands is off a bit, and they are hard to blend as I hear it.
    Now that I have a bass that has less lows, it might be easier to sculpt the sound.

    There is also fret noise, and I hear a clanking kind of mid tone maybe 1000 hz, not sure.
  4. suraci


    Apr 11, 2005
    Is using the eq on amp a solid way to increase the gravitas of the lower notes? Or even use
    a cabinet that emphasizes low end?
    What about going to heavier strings?
    Yes, the PU's are weaker, so.. What kind of replacement PU would add weight to the low end?

    Maybe all this lack of low end can be used in a good way, shaping a sound that is not too bassy, might turn out to be a good thing?
  5. You just have to replace the anemic pickups!
  6. suraci


    Apr 11, 2005
    You just have to replace the anemic pickups!

    Suggestions ( including a quick description of the kind of tone ) for replacements?
    And there must be a place here, where I can see a compact view on PU's that are suited
    for the Affinity Squire 5?

    Also this... I have been told the way the B string is squeezed on the nut ( all 5 tuners in a row- the wrapping on the most B strings is not correct size for the territory available )
    Finding a proper B string, is very limited!
    Which options for B strings do I have on this bargain basement bass?

    And doesn't a heavier gauge string help the thickness of the sound?

  7. The Robman

    The Robman

    Jun 15, 2017
    There are several sets of pickups on Amazon, ranging from the super cheap ($19) to better quality ($189), just search for "jazz bass pickups 5 string". There's a whole bunch on ebay too.

    As for your B string, are you saying that it's getting stuck in the nut? If so, you might want to file the nut slot to make it wider. Assuming you don't have the tools to do that, if you take it back to GC they might do it for you.

    Seymour Duncan Apollo Jazz Bass Pickups ($189)

    Basslines SJ5-3S Quarter-Pounder Pickups ($139)

    Bartolini 59J1 pickups ($168)

    and the cheapies, Fastmusic Open Black ($19)
    Zoobiedood likes this.
  8. Ampslut

    Ampslut Supporting Member

    May 15, 2017
    hmmmm. Before you go yanking out the pickups etc. Watch this video and set your bass up properly. You might be surprised at how much better it plays and sounds:

    Garret Graves likes this.
  9. Don't automaticly assume you need to immediately start
    spending money and replacing everything.
    I have a Squier Affinity J5 and can tell you that good strings
    and setup can go a long way toward making it perform.
    Pickup height will go a long way in helping weak pickups.
    Turning up your amp helps, too. ;)

    Everyone seems to assume that none of the Affinity parts work.
    Actually they work pretty well.
    The cost cutting is in the longivity of them.
    Even then, it may be 10 years before the tuners slip or the pots give up. :laugh:
    I'm not saying it isn't a good candidate for upgrades, just that it's hardly an emergency.
    I hate to see people get a decent deal on a bass, then spend that much more on
    stuff they don't really need, only to decide after a couple of years that they really
    wanted to use some other pickups, parts or mods.

    You strike me as a new player, which is fine, but my point is that, with experience
    you can better know which parts will do what, so that you can get what
    best suits you, on the first try.
    Dr. Cheese likes this.
  10. markoc


    Jan 6, 2014
    North San Diego
    I got one of these last week. Played 3 gigs with it already. I need to lower the action on it a bit but outside that I'm pretty happy with the way it plays and sounds. Not going to change a thing.
  11. I played a used Affinity Jazz 5 at the Canadian chain store a couple of weeks ago. It was set up really well and had fresh strings, and played and sounded great, albeit at low volumes. I preferred it to the other basses I played that day including a US P, a Mexi Jazz and a new Yamaha BB. I'm sure with similar conditions the other basses would have compared more favorably, but the Squier was shockingly good.
  12. suraci


    Apr 11, 2005
    You owners feel as I felt when I bought it. But at home I noticed the fret noise and the less than normal bass frequencies

    I am a long time veteran player... I play keys too and more keys than bass last fe decades
    I am new to 5 strings
  13. suraci


    Apr 11, 2005
    But the strings are close enough to pu to easily make contact?

    I am old school player, back then we played very high action, so I can handle raising the action on this bass.
    I guess I am a bit confused about raising PU without also raising action, due to noise reasons!
  14. Garret Graves

    Garret Graves website- ggbassplayer.com Gold Supporting Member

    May 20, 2010
    Arcadia, Ca
    See the specs here
    How do I set up my bass guitar properly?

    Note section on pick ups- but follow the directions leading up to it as well! Good luck
  15. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    This has been my exact experience. A good set up, adjustment of pickups, maybe your favorite strings, and an Affinity J-5 will be a solidly performing JazzBass.
    Bill Whitehurst likes this.
  16. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    I have one of these Squier 5 string Jazzes. The stock pickups are rather strong and have tons of low end.
    The stock electronics had grounding issues on mine, so I got a can of shielding paint and did all the cavities, and grounded everything together properly. This thing is now dead silent. It also took a setup very easy. Didn't have to replace anything.
  17. The Robman

    The Robman

    Jun 15, 2017
    You have to do the setup items in this order:
    1. Check/set the neck relief
    2. Check/set the string height at the 17th fret
    3. Check/set the string height at the nut
    4. Check/set the pickup height

    In step 2, you're setting the height of the strings above the fret board, which makes the bass easier to play. Then in step 4, you're setting the distance between the strings and the pickups. If the distance is too great, you will have reduced output volume. If they're too close, you're not giving the strings enough room to vibrate and you may have the strings making contact with the pickups.
  18. suraci


    Apr 11, 2005
    Robman I use pro bass ppl to do this... but I wonder if they follow your sequential order.! Thank you
  19. The Robman

    The Robman

    Jun 15, 2017
    I'm sure they do, or at least something similar.
  20. It's good to learn to do your own setups.
    Getting everything set to 'factory specs'
    ensures that it will work reasonably well for most poeple.
    Your tastes and style may vary from most people.
    It's that last little difference that changes it from good enough
    to just what you want or need.
    Don't be to afraid to change how your bass is set up.
    If you are not sure of what will happen, find a way to
    keep up with which way it is changing and how far.
    EG, three turns counterclockwise on the pickup screws.
    If that makes it less like you want, then you know to go
    3 turns clockwise to get back to a known condition.
    The Robman likes this.
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